++ NO2ID Supporters’ Newsletter No. 167 – 3rd February 2011 ++
+ FAREWELL TO PHIL – AND OUR WAY FORWARD +
After 6 years as National Coordinator of NO2ID, our chief executive, Phil Booth has resigned for personal reasons. The NO2ID Advisory Board met on Monday evening (31st January) and appointed Guy Herbert as his successor. Guy has worked as a volunteer for the whole of the organisation’s formal existence and been involved in every aspect of the campaign – including as the original newsletter editor.
“No one should underestimate the debt the whole country owes to Phil Booth. His incredible energy and hard work has been one of the key factors in making NO2ID the fastest growing and most successful group in modern British history, and allowing us to kill the Home Office’s ID scheme. Our task now is to use that invaluable legacy and experience, and take the fight to the surveillance state.
“Everybody needs privacy, but not everybody realises how much they do – or how much it is threatened. NO2ID’s campaign strategy for the coming year will focus particularly on government initiatives that affect very large numbers of people, and that illustrate the key point about the stalker-state’s unnecessary obsession with knowing its citizens intimately: the ID culture, vetting in everyday life, databases tracking drivers and air passengers, and the continuing battles for medical privacy. The first item on the menu is the most obtrusive and pervasive piece of official nosiness of all – which the present government actually *admits* is unnecessary, but is doing anyway – the census.”
NO2ID is now seeking two volunteers (who should be full members) for the roles of Secretary (in charge of membership, affiliation, and organisational formalities) and Treasurer (in charge of funds and fundraising), both of which Guy has covered in recent years. If you are interested, please contact: email@example.com.
What just happened?
+ Privacy International slams ICO +
Privacy International (PI) has called for better privacy protection in the UK, whilst highlighting the utter uselessness of the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO). Simon Davies of PI said: “The UK Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) has become a threat to privacy. The legislation that underpins the Office is narrow and in places regressive, and the ICO itself risks becoming a dangerous anachronism.” PI suggests that the data protection functions of the ICO should be scrapped and in its place there should be a new Privacy Act that creates a true watchdog with a broad mandate.
+ Police National Database and data sharing +
On 28th January the Metropolitan Police became the latest force to connect to the new Police National Database (PND). In 2005 the IMPACT Nominal Index (INI) was introduced to share data across police forces, the PND replaces the INI. According to the NPIA the PND “will allow 12,000 named users to search full data records of all UK forces, covering People, Objects, Locations and Events (POLE)”. In an article on the Public Service website Jennie Cronin, IMPACT programme director at the National Policing Improvement Agency (NPIA) wrote: “To build the culture of sharing we also needed to give the service, and the general public, confidence that the PND was secure enough to hold and protect the most sensitive intelligence.”
+ What’s in store for the census ? +
The 2011 census is set to be the most intrusive yet, so when in July the government announced plans to scrap the UK census it sounded like an announcement of less state intrusion. In reality it is anything but. The Office for National Statistics (ONS) website points out that the UK is “an active participant” in an EU Census Legislation Task Force. In 2008 the European Parliament approved a Council Census Regulation, the ONS website states: “The Framework Regulation is intended to be a permanent piece of legislation concerned with establishing common rules for the decennial provision of comprehensive population and housing data to be collected from traditional census taking or from alternative sources such as surveys and registers, or from combinations of such sources”. The information gathered in the 2011 census will be shared across all 27 Member States of the EU.
+ Big Brother Watch official book launch +
The Big Brother Watch book ‘Big Brother Watch: The state of civil liberties in Britain’ was officially launched this week. The book includes a chapter by NO2ID’s Guy Herbert subtitled “the silent boom in mass-surveillance” and discusses the National Fraud Initiative and e-Borders.
Get the book at:
+ The Census +
A growing area of concern for NO2ID is the UK census. In July Cabinet Minister Francis Maude MP announced that the UK census is to be abolished in theory (after this year’s census) – but meantime it is more intrusive than ever. The government wants to seek ways of more accurately gathering information on the UK population. See the “What’s Just Happened” section for more on the census.
+ Policing, Surveillance and Rights Meeting, London +
Sunday 13th February – NO2ID’s Matty Mitford will be addressing a Jewish Socialists’ Group meeting on
policing, surveillance and rights at the Indian YMCA in Fitzroy Square W1, starting at 7.30pm.
“ID” in the news
+ Government misses e-Borders passenger check target – The Guardian 3/2/11 +
The Home Office has failed to meet its target of tracking 95% of all passenger and crew journeys into and out of the UK by December 2010
+ European Commission wants air traveller database – ComputerWorld UK – 3/2/11 +
If the European Commission has its way, all air travellers regardless of nationality will have to give their personal details to national authorities when they fly in or out of the European Union.
+ EU police forces to see British passengers’ personal information – The Telegraph 2/2/11 +
Britons flying anywhere in Europe will have sensitive personal information handed over to the police authorities in all 27 EU countries under a new air travel surveillance system.
+ Identity card plan ignored fatal flaws – ComputerWeekly 31/1/11 +
Ministers and civil servants swept fundamental problems with the ID card database blueprint under the carpet and approved a development plan that would prove so unfeasible it had to be torn up after government IT experts had worked on it for three years, Computer Weekly has learned.
+ ID cards decommissioned – ITPro 24/1/11 +
Although few got on board with the scheme, any existing UK ID cards are now useless for proof of identity when travelling. British ID cards can no longer be used as a form of identification when travelling across Europe.
+ Advocate of national ID scheme tells Scotland Yard he couldn’t even secure his own phone messages – MicroScope 24/1/11 +
A new study shows that civil servants, cabinet members and even the prime minister behind the National ID card scheme couldn’t create passwords for their mobile phones.
+ Voting fraud claims spark calls for ID at polls – Independent 23/1/11 +
Ministers will this week face demands to force voters to present photographic identification before they are allowed to vote, as an elections watchdog reveals that police were called in to investigate dozens of allegations of fraud at the last general election.
(Please send me any items of interest you encounter – Editor(firstname.lastname@example.org) )
+ LOCAL GROUPS NEWS +
To see if there’s a group in your area check our list at http://www.no2id.net/localgroups/
Or, if you’re interested in starting a group yourself, please contact James on email@example.com to discuss what’s involved and what we have in place to support coordinators and their groups.
+ Cambridge +
+ 11th February – abolition party +
The Cambridge group is planning a celebration now that the bill abolishing the ID Cards scheme has actually passed:
Friday 11th February 2011, 8pm at Garden Room, Gillespie Centre, Clare College, (in Clare Memorial Court, between Queen’s Rd and the University Library). Map: http://www.aardvarkmap.net/mape/MK949537
Free food and drink, and a couple of special guests. All welcome – please come along and help us celebrate.
+ Camden & Islington +
+ 1st March – Camden & Islington group meeting +
1st Tuesday of the month, 8.00pm at The New Rose 84-86 Essex Road, Islington. All welcome.
For more info email firstname.lastname@example.org or join the mailing list at: (http://www.no2id.net/mailman/listinfo/no2id.camden).
+ Edinburgh +
+ Saturdays 1pm – 3pm – Edinburgh NO2ID Street Stall +
Every week, weather permitting, you will find our campaigning stall at the east end of Princes Street, opposite the Balmoral Hotel. Do drop by for a chat. New volunteers – please contact John (email@example.com), and for more group information see http://www.no2id-scotland.net/edinburgh/
+ Hull and East Riding of Yorkshire +
+ 19th February – Hull and East Riding NO2ID Meeting +
The new printed packs for NO2ID stalls are now coming out to local groups, with new messages to members of the public on ongoing intrusion into our privacy and misuse of our personal data. It would be good to meet in February 2011 to discuss how we’d like to use the new NO2ID materials and campaign in Hull and East Riding. If you’re free at 12.30pm to meet in Dukes on Princes Avenue in Hull, it would be great to see you. Proposed date of meeting is Saturday 19 February 2011.
Please contact Carla on Hull@no2id.net or join our mailing list and ask us a question! – http://lists.no2id.net/mailman/listinfo/no2id.Hull
You can also join the groups Facebook page at -
+ Manchester +
+ Dave Page to step down as Manchester NO2ID co-ordinator +
Dave Page has decided to step down as the Manchester NO2ID co-ordinator. Big thanks to Dave for all his hard work and for his offer to continue to advise the campaign, and help where he can. Meanwhile Gary Peart, a long standing member of Manchester NO2ID has agreed to take on this role.
+ Norwich +
If you are interested in the work of the Norwich group, please join their mailing list on: http://lists.no2id.net/mailman/listinfo/no2id.norwich
+ Sheffield +
+ Sheffield Council to decide the fate of your data +
After warnings from the Information Commissioner Lib Dem controlled Sheffield Council is currently in the process of deciding what to do with the personal information they collect on residents’ movements. The council owns 100 ANPR cameras that are logging details of residents’ journeys. Currently the police are given access to this information that is being retained on a database by the Council. There is a proposal on the table that would see this data deleted after its initial intended use by the Council. We would urge all our Sheffield supporters to write to their Councillors asking them at the very least to adopt this proposal, but ideally, as our elected representatives, to stop collecting and sharing this personal information.
You can use the WriteToThem website to contact your local councillor (http://www.writetothem.com)
Please join the Sheffield mailing list If you haven’t already: http://lists.no2id.net/mailman/listinfo/no2id.sheffield
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Publication details: © NO2ID 2011 – This document may be freely redistributed in one-to-one communications or physical copies as long as it is reproduced in its entirety including this notice. It may not be mass-mailed without the prior permission of NO2ID.
NO2ID, Box 412, 19-21 Crawford Street, LONDON W1H 1PJ